October 10-15, Dag Avango and Peder Roberts and their colleague Hanna Vikström (KTH) participated in the conference “Heritage and Change in the Arctic” in Nuuk, Greenland. The conference was a multidisciplinary undertaking within the social sciences and humanities, dealing with research and policy issues in the Arctic from the past to present, in particular relating to resource extraction.
The conference was organized by Ilisimatusarfik/University of Greenland, CIRCLA (Aalborg University), NICHE (network of Canadian history & environment) and brought together scholars from Greenland, Denmark, Sweden, Britain and Canada. The opening talks by Greenlands minister of education, Nick Nielsen and a representative of Greenland’s prime minister Aleqa Hammond, as well as the Canadian ambassador marked the importance of the conference topic. In addition to a number of excellent keynote lectures, the conference program consisted of several sessions under two broad themes: “Cultural heritage, learning, values and identities” and “Governance and sovereignty, climate change and resource extraction”.
In a joint paper, Dag Avango and Peder Roberts presented ideas for coming research, based on work conducted within the project “Assessing Arctic Futures – Voices, Resources and Governance” (funded by Mistra). The paper dealt with the reuse of large scale extraction sites in the polar areas, as a resource to build post-industrial futures in the region. Building on case studies from elsewhere in the Arctic, Avango and Roberts suggested that industrial heritage can constitute a resource in its own right for Arctic residents, as well as for scholars who seek to understand how concepts of progress and development have been materialized in the Arctic region. The KTH group also opened discussions with other scholars on future research collaborations and conducted archival research in the Greenland national archives.
Adapted and reposted with permission, from the KTH website.